Many companies that don’t already offer their employees to work remotely are quickly formulating their work-from-home policies, processes and technologies. At Hotwire, we have always operated under a ‘Thoughtful Working’ policy. It’s not just remote work, it’s the philosophy that work is a thing you produce, not a place you go. We have always encouraged our people to work where they will be the most effective for their clients, their colleagues and themselves. And we feel confident right now, in light of COVID-19, that our culture and our technology set us up to continue the great work we do with little disruption in our day-to-day.
We’re sharing a roundup of our top 10 tips from the team at Hotwire.
1. Keep your routines as if you were going into the office.
We are creatures of habit and routine, and our bodies and minds appreciate when we keep our normal patterns. If you go for a walk every day to grab lunch, go for a quick walk around your normal lunch time. Especially if you have children at home, waking up at the same time and keeping a morning routine is really important to remind your kids this isn’t a normal weekend day.
2. Get up and move.
We don’t realize how much we actually walk in a day at the office. All those little trips to the kitchen to grab a LaCroix, coffee and snacks add up. Every hour or so, get up and take a short walk.
3. Set alarms to avoid “Work Creep”
When we work from home, we do not have the normal reminders of how our day is structured (catching trains, buses, etc). This causes us to lose track of time. Set alarms on your phone or computer to remind you to take breaks, stop working, etc.
4. Keep in contact with your colleagues.
Humans thrive on connection and it is important to feed that social interaction. Make sure you are utilizing video conferencing tools like Zoom for meetings, 1:1s, quick chats. And keep your cameras on as much as you can!
5. Go outside.
Use your best judgement and try to stay out of busy areas, but go for a walk outside. Getting just a few minutes of fresh air will make your body so much happier.
6. Communicate with your housemates.
Make sure if you have important meetings that your housemates know when and what is expected of them. There is nothing better than your roomie or significant other blasting music in your weekly team catchup. Create some sort of visible indicator that you are on a call (a handwritten sign, piece of cardboard with a red “X”, etc). With children at home, work in shifts with your partner if you can. Two hours on and two hours off works well – put the shifts in your work calendar and do your best to keep to them.
7. Keep an eye on how you are spending your time.
Using an automated time recorder like toggl.com or rescuetime.com will help you track when you are most efficient, and keep an eye on what your day looks like.
8. Don’t hesitate to ask for what you need.
We do not all have the luxuries of the office at our home. If there is something that you need to make you happier and more efficient while you are working at home…ask your IT team! They want to make sure you have everything you need to do your best work and should try their best to fulfill reasonable requests.
Tell everyone on your team and your clients if working from home changes your availability or schedule. When you finish a project or important task, say so. If you have to take a break to help kids at home with school activities, let your team know. Overcommunicating doesn’t necessarily mean you have to write a five-paragraph essay to explain your every move, but it does mean repeating yourself.
10. Stay Positive.
These are uncertain times, and we all have to make the best of it. Do something that makes you happy throughout the day. Your mind and emotions are just as important to keep healthy as your body. Take some time to meditate, watch some YouTube videos, make a TikTok, eat some ice-cream with your pet/roommate/spouse/child. Indulge in whatever brings you the most happiness.
To learn more about Hotwire’s Thoughtful Working philosophy, visit here.